Things to Do in Montreal on a Budget
As part of my Things to Do in Montreal on a Budget series, I figured I would list the 10 best parks to visit in Montreal. It is a great way to do something as a family on a budget.
Montreal has been my home for over 30 years now, and it’s a lovely multicultural city. In winter, I sometimes wish I was back in Europe, but in the summer months, the city is alive and there are plenty of things to do on a budget.
It is full of festivals and great food, and generally, people are fun and welcoming.
The city has a lot of neighborhoods where parks are numerous and very well tended to. Even on the city’s outskirts, there are a few lovely green spaces you can visit, and they are fairly easy to get to. Either by car, public transit, or even shuttles that take you directly to your destination.
The parks are different, but they offer you plenty of fun. You can easily spend a few hours on a hot summer day in any one of these lovely outdoor spaces.
Let’s see which are the best parks to visit in Montreal.
10. Maisonneuve Park
I satrt this list with the first of the 10 bets parks to visit in Montreal, Maisonneuve Park. A large park that is located fairly central, in the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve borough, it spreads out over 63 hectares. In winter, it is the best place in the city for skating and cross country skiing.
In the summer though, its multiple biking and walking trails are great, and there’s even a nine-hole municipal golf course. You can also walk over to the west and visit the Botanical Gardens and the Insectarium, two other great Montreal attractions.
9. Angrignon Park
Angrignon Park is a delightful place where joggers and many fitness groups practice their favorite sport in nature. It features a large urban forest and a water feature that brings you a sense of calm.
The park is full of picnic tables and areas designated for barbecues, and during the summer it’s hard to find a spot if you don’t show up early. The little ones can enjoy hours of fun at the playground, and the facilities on site are readily available. Easily accessible, it is right outside the Angrignon metro and near highways.
8. Arthur Therrien Park
One of the two Montreal parks where you can swim, it was previously known as Verdun Beach. Located on the south side of the park and along the St. Lawrence River, the beach has a children’s climbing wall and slides. There is also a pool and a wading pool for tiny tots if you prefer.
Super busy in the short summer months, it does offer quite a few activities for all tastes. There are six tennis courts, a basketball court, a football field, a baseball diamond, as well as a skateboard park.
7. Jarry Park
Located in the Villeray district, Jarry park is close to Uniprix Stadium, known for hosting major tennis events. The Rogers Cup is usually played there each year. Amidst the park, you will find a small lake that is home to a variety of waterfowl.
You can also go swimming in the large outdoor pool, which gets very busy on hot days. There’s plenty of room for a soccer game, football, or flying kites if that’s more your jam. There’s also a skateboard park on the north end of the space, as well as a basketball court.
6.Cap-Saint-Jacques Nature Park
Cap-Saint-Jacques is located on the easter end of Pierrefonds, on the west tip of the island. This green oasis is spread out over 330 hectares, and it features 12 kilometers of walking trails, with 6.5 kilometers of mountain biking routes. Even in winter, the park is popular because of its 14 kilometers of cross-country ski trails.
The chalets are open year long so you can use the facilities, grab a bite or warm up in the cold weather. In the summer their beach is the highlight, located close to the Lake of Two Mountains. There’s also the chateau Gohier near the beach that’s worth a visit.
There’s a fee to park your car and an additional fee to enter the park, but you also have access to an eco-farm that’s open yearlong. The kids should enjoy paying the animals a visit while there.
5. Westmount Park
Westmount park might not be as large as some others on this list, but it is beautiful. It has its own rec center and library on-site, both worth a visit as well. The library has its own greenhouse that has a wide variety of plants and flowers, even butterflies yearlong.
You will also find tennis courts, a wading pool, playgrounds, a baseball diamond, and many natural green spaces and water features. A great walk away from the busy downtown core, you can reach it on foot. In the spring the walk is especially lovely, because of the wonderful flowering trees that look and smell amazing.
Sitting in the town of Saint-Catherines, right across from downtown Montreal, you actually need a car to get to it. Drive over the lift bridge, and adventure awaits you. It has a beach that is popular in the area, although it isn’t as big as the one in Oka park. You can also admire the views of the Lachine canal and Heron Island from the modern pavilion, where you can also grab a bite at the local restaurant. Access to the park is free, but there’s a fee to enter the beach. There’s also an urban campground with private sites that you can enjoy if you’re not in the mood to drive hours to get to a campsite.
3.Parc National D’Oka
Located 50 kilometers from downtown Montreal, the park is a favorite with many Montrealers. This large provincial park is set on the hills that border the Ottawa river. One of the largest regional parks, I included it on this list because it is a great park to visit any time of year, but especially in the summer.
If you bring your own bike, you can enjoy the trails that run for miles. There are plenty of walking and hiking trails as well, a huge forested area, plus a huge camping ground.
Home to the best Montreal area beach, in summer it hosts many outdoor bonfires and parties.
2. Park of Mount Royal
The most famous and largest park located right in the center of the city is one of those landmarks that makes Montreal beloved by so many. Tourists and locals alike love coming here and enjoying the city views from the most popular lookout on the island.
Other attractions the park offers are Beaver Lake, or Lac Des Castors, where you can enjoy a lovely picnic, or just sunbathe. The giant cross you can see from different locations in the city is also pretty impressive, and you can get to it by following the well-marked footpaths.
The park is large, but the footpaths all around are safe and easy to find, since you cannot bring a car past the parking lot.
1. Parc Jean-Drapeau
This is by far, in my opinion, one of the 10 best parks to visit in Montreal. One of the largest and most popular parks on the island of Montreal, it technically sits on St. Helen’s Island and Ile Notre Dame. Home of the famous Expo ‘67, in the last few years it hosted the Grand Prix, one of Montreal’s most populated events.
Excellent if you want a family outing for the day, it offers plenty of activities for young and old. With over 25 kilometers of pathways to walk on, you can also bike or hike, if you prefer. There are unique art installations throughout the park, and it is the ideal spot for bird-watching.
Jean Dore beach is home to the floating Aqauzilla obstacle course, which the kids love on those hot summer days. When you get a little hungry, grab a bite at La Guinguette, a vegan restaurant located close by in the Old Port. Or better yet, bring your own food and have a picnic.
This sums up my list of the 10 best parks to visit in Montreal.
I hope you enjoyed this virtual tour of Montreal parks for my first edition of Things to Do in Montreal on a Budget. If you enjoy this type of post, I will surely prepare more in the same style in the future.
But for now, go enjoy some lovely weather while it lasts.